Established in 1981, Vanilla are predominantly an online female fashion retailer with showrooms in East London and Manchester. The Bluewater flagship is the company’s first foray into bricks and mortar retail, making this exciting brand offer one that is truly omnichannel. The look and feel of the store needed to echo the online brand, with extensive input from Dave Chawla, Owner, Michelle Burns, Head of Retail Stores to achieve this.
The store is trading under the brand name Vanilla, with two sub brands operating under this title. Pink Vanilla is aimed at 14 – 26-year-olds and will be seen as a must-shop destination for a fun fashion fix. Merchandise will range from glamour to casual gym-wear that is on trend yet affordable. Blue Vanilla is marketed towards the 25 – 55-year-old range, offering styles that are more understated and sophisticated. The overall mission statement of the London design team is to deliver on-trend fashion that is affordable, sustainable, and accessible.
The 3,400 square foot Bluewater store is located on the Upper Thames Walk and will showcase both sub brands in full, as well as an exclusive new shoe and accessories collection. Michelle said in a statement: “We were very selective when searching for the ideal location at which to launch our encompassed Vanilla flagship store, and Bluewater, with its impressive array of retail names and strong experiential offering, is the perfect destination for us to launch at. We have built up a strong reputation with our Blue Vanilla and Pink Vanilla brands through e-commerce and strong sales through concessions, including Bluewater. We wanted to continue to deliver trend-led, yet affordable options for females of all ages, and we are very excited to be taking the next step into physical retail with our first Bluewater flagship.”
rpa:group were tasked with providing a wide range of interior architecture services that included measured surveys, architectural and design drawing packs, local authority approval submissions and managing landlord approval submissions. Associate Terry Cowan and his team worked closely with Bluewater’s Development and Design Manager Jonathan Mullineux and Collette Connolly of Beyond London to bring the store to life. Collaborations with other consultants, including Carl Bennett, Project Manager and Russell Jerrard of Brasier Freeth agents, enabled the successful completion and launch of the flagship store on the 5th of July, with potential for further physical stores in the pipeline.